Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Vulcan Utopian" for President

Yes, that's right, folks. David Brooks of the NY Times actually called former Vice President Al Gore a "Vulcan Utopian" in a new op-ed piece regarding Gore's recently published book, The Assault on Reason. With publicity like that from a tired, boring, conservative pundit like Brooks, who needs a PR firm?!

Benjamin Barber has a great take on Brooks' piece at The Huffington Post. Here's a sampling:

For those many Americans hoping Al Gore may bring his green and growing statesmanship back to the Democratic Party and compete to become the Democratic nominee for the Presidency, check out Tuesday's New York Times op-ed page to see how Republicans are likely to go after him. David Brooks (remember he's the 'moderate' conservative!) pillories Gore for being a "Vulcan Utopian," implicitly contrasting an icy and inhuman "Mr. Spock" with the down-to-earth and all-too-human President Bush cum Captain Kirk.

See, Brooks says from the evidence of his new book The Assault on Reason, Gore believes in things like reason and the Enlightenment which makes him a "technological determinist." You know, when you fantasize in reason's nutty name that limiting carbon emissions might actually reduce global warming. Or that we can actually develop alternative energy policies. Or imagine that history is "driven by machines" like automobiles, computers, industrial dyes, and the apparatuses of industrial capitalism. Crazy stuff like that.

See, Brooks admonishes, Gore worries that TV can immobilize the reasoning centers in the brain and empower the conglomerates and facilitate demagogues. I mean what planet does Gore live on, sputters Brooks. Surely this proves that Gore is "impervious to reality," and points to the "chilliness and sterility of his worldview." (I guess it takes a chilly nature to worry about global warming).

But no, see, the real problem is Gore has this "bizarre" rationalist view of human nature that makes a distinction between lower and higher parts of our brains even though "the reality is that there is no such neat distinction." Actually, David, it was folks like Christ and then Sigmund Freud who preferred this view about higher and lower parts of human nature, and I don't think either was exactly an Enlightenment rationalist. It's about ethics. You know, good and bad as in higher and lower?

No no, says Brooks, Gore is actually "utterly at a loss when asked to talk about virtue and justice." Indeed he tries to "shift attention to technology and methods of communication." He imagines "by altering machines" he can "alter the fundamentals of behavior, or at least avoid the dark thickets of human nature."

Well, David, we can agree on that. We've spent six years witnessing the "dark thickets of human nature" in action in an administration that has made a fetish of ignoring reason, science and the Enlightenment. So if you want to make the '08 race a choice between reason and stupidity, between science and superstition and between Enlightenment and the "dark thickets of human nature," let's do it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Draft Gore website

Check out the Draft Gore website. Sign the petition. Get a bumper sticker. Read the recent Time Magazine cover story. Listen to Run, Al, Run, an original song by Paul Kaplan. Show your support for the one man who can get this country turned in the right direction.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Can one lose weight while running...

...for President?

Read an excerpt of Maureen Dowd's cheeky look at both Gore's eating habits and his possible interest in a run for the White House in 2008:

It's no wonder Al Gore is a little touchy about his weight, what with everyone trying to read his fat cells like tea leaves to see if he's going to run.

He was so determined to make his new book look weighty, in the this-treatise-belongs-on-theshelf-between-Plato-and-Cato sense, rather than the double-chin-isn't-quite-gone-yet sense, that he did something practically unheard of for a politician: He didn't plaster his picture on the front.

"The Assault on Reason" looks more like the Beatles' White Album than a screed against the tinny Texan who didn't get as many votes in 2000.

The Goracle does concede a small author's picture on the inside back flap, a chiseled profile that screams Profile in Courage and that also screams Really Old Picture. Indeed, if you read the small print next to the photo of Thin Gore looking out prophetically into the distance, it says it's from his White House years.

A subliminal clue to his intentions, perhaps? He must be flattered that many demoralized leading Republicans and Bush insiders think a GoreObama ticket would be unbeatable. And he must be gratified that his rival Hillary has never cemented her inevitability, even with Bill Clinton's liplicking Web video pushing her.

But though he's on a book tour clearly timed to build on his Oscar flash and Nobel buzz, and take advantage of the public's curiosity about whether he'll jump in the race, he almost seems to want to sigh and roll his eyes when he's asked about it.

"I'm not a candidate," he told Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America." "This book is not a political book. It's not a candidate book at all." Of course, his protestation was lost given the fact that he was sitting in front of a screen blaring the message "The Race to '08," and above a crawl that asked "Will he run for the White House?"

He is so fixed on not seeming like a presidential flirt that he risks coming across as a bit of a righteous tease or a high-minded scold, which is exactly what his book is, a high-minded scolding.

He upbraided Diane about the graphics for his segment, complaining about buzzwords and saying "That's not what this is about."

Sawyer was not so easily put off as he turned up his nose at the horse race and the vast wasteland of TV, and bored in for the big question: "Donna Brazile, your former campaign manager, has said, 'If he drops 25 to 30 pounds, he's running.' Lost any weight?"

Laughing obligingly, he replied: "I think, you know, millions of Americans are in the same struggle I am on that one. But look, listen to your questions. And you know, if the horse race, the cosmetic parts of this — and look, that's all understandable and natural. But while we're focused on, you know, Britney and K-Fed and Anna Nicole Smith and all this stuff, meanwhile, very quietly, our country has been making some very serious mistakes that could be avoided if we the people, including the news media, are involved in a full and vigorous discussion of what our choices are."

"An Inconvenient Truth" goes to Australia

In November 2006 Al Gore came to Australia and trained 84 people to give a tailored version of his presentation, which is shorter than the original version and has an Aussie slant. About 1700 people around the country applied to do the training.

One of the people trained by Gore was Canberra environmentalist Trish Harrup. Locals might know Trish as the director of the Conservation Council of South East Region and Canberra.

666 ABC Canberra's environment reporter, Claire Gorman, went to observe Trish giving the presentation to staff at Australain Ethical Investments in Bruce.

Caroline LeCouter, the company's Executive Director, said Trish was invited to speak because it was "important all our staff appreciate what the environmental issues are, why we are doing it [ethical investing].

"It's also important that they, just as members of the community, understand climate change is an issue we've all got to do something about," she said.

Ms Harrup said that as soon as she heard Al Gore was going to train Australians for his Climate Project, she "jumped a t the chance."

"It was incredibly impressive to watch Al Gore go full steam for two days without stop.

"What really struck me about Al Gore was the fact that (he) obviously loved science. He's spent decades looking at science, speaking to scientists, listening to them and that's a valuable quality for a politician who actually looks at sciences rather than just media and polls," Ms Harrup said.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mr. Gore Goes (Back) to Washington

While the current landscape of Democratic presidential candidates is impressive, the credentials, experience and leadership abilities of the frontrunners - including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - pale in comparison to the one person who is best suited for the job:

Al Gore.

With over seventeen months remaining until the November 2008 election, Mr. Gore has yet to indicate an interest in taking another run at the presidency. No doubt, the lasting memory of Gore's failed - some would say, hijacked - presidential bid seven years ago may continue to leave a bitter taste in his mouth. Believe me, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of tens of millions of Americans who have seen this country sink to abysmal lows in oh, so many respects in recent years.

But the man who often came across as stiff and unemotional during the 2000 election is a relic of the past, replaced by the personable, intelligent and passionate leader our nation longs for. He's proven it, in particular, with the success of "An Inconvenient Truth", the hard-hitting, purposeful attempt to convince us that the future of our planet is in grave danger without a significant change in our behavior.

After having watched Mr. Gore in a live presentation of AIT in the Dallas area last fall, I couldn't help but notice that THIS was the man we wanted to be president. THIS was the man who could energize us. THIS was the man who could lead us to achieve great things. THIS was the man who could understand how to work with - not against - other nations around the globe.

THIS was the man we needed to be president in 2001 BEFORE that awful day in September. THIS was the man we needed to be president in 2003 when many pushed for an unnecessary war in Iraq. THIS was the man we needed to be president in 2005 when a natural disaster of unthinkable proporations nearly destroyed a great American city. THIS was the man we needed to be president for the last six years. And THIS, my friends, is the man we NEED to be president beginning in January of 2009.

So, while Mr. Gore may not yet know it, this blog is the unofficial kick-off - or, at least, MY unofficial kick-off - of his 2008 campaign for U.S. President. Now, let's see what we can do to get the man, himself, on board with this brilliant idea (if I do say so myself).

Al Gore, 44th President of the United States of America.

I like the sound of that!!